Fujitsu, Renesas, Sony Ericsson, others team with NTT DoCoMo for 3G

-February 08, 2007

Following up on plans first tipped last fall, a roster of industry heavyweights including Japanese handset provider NTT DoCoMo Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Renesas Technology Corp.Sharp Corp. and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications today announced that they plan to jointly develop a next-generation mobile phone platform for dual-mode handsets supporting HSDPA2/W-CDMA (3G) and GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G) technologies.

The six companies said they agreed to the joint development project in an effort to provide a platform with advanced functionality for 3G mobile phones. The new platform will be based on the SH-Mobile G3, a single-chip system LSI that implements a baseband processor supporting HSDPA cat. 82/W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE communications and an application processor with high-end multimedia functions, together with a reference design integrating audio, power supply and RF front-end modules.

The platform will also include common software for basic functions, including an operating system such as Symbian, device drivers, middleware and communication software, the companies said.

NTT DoCoMo and Renesas said they have already jointly developed the SH-Mobile G1, a first-generation single-chip LSI for dual-mode handsets supporting W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS. The SH-Mobile G1 is now in mass production and handsets built around it first appeared on the market in fall 2006.

The second-generation successor, the SH-Mobile G2, and a mobile phone platform integrating core software are currently under development by NTT DoCoMo, Renesas, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric and Sharp. Development of the platform is targeted to complete sometime between July and September, and handsets employing the G2 are scheduled to appear in the fall of 2007, the companies said.

By implementing the platform as a base system, mobile phone manufacturers Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric, Sharp and Sony Ericsson believe they can eliminate the need to develop common handset functions. Renesas said it plans to provide the platform to the worldwide W-CDMA market, in addition to customers in Japan, aiming to further reduce costs.

This is not the first time a handful of major cellular players bonded together. Last summer, NEC, NEC Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Panasonic Mobile Communications, and Texas Instruments  formed a new joint company called Adcore-Tech to develop a 3.5G platform that includes hardware and software, and to study "3.9G" systems.

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